Though Kierkegaard never explicitly formulated a theory of religious doctrine, he did have a clear position on the role that Christian doctrine ought to play in the lives of believers. Briefly stated, he maintained that Christianity, as a human activity, involves more than merely believing certain propositions about matters of fact. The doctrines of Christianity take on a true religious significance only when they are given the power to transform the lives of those who accept them; only when they are (...) given expression in the existence of the believer. This was, however, far from evident to Kierkegaard's theological contemporaries who, in the collective absentmindedness of the age, sought to replace the Christian virtue of faith with the philosophical ideal of objective knowledge. (shrink)
Kierkegaard’s Concepts is a comprehensive, multi-volume survey of the key concepts and categories that inform Kierkegaard’s writings. Each article is a substantial, original piece of scholarship, which discusses the etymology and lexical meaning of the relevant Danish term, traces the development of the concept over the course of the authorship, and explains how it functions in the wider context of Kierkegaard’s thought. Concepts have been selected on the basis of their importance for Kierkegaard’s contributions to philosophy, theology, the social sciences, (...) literature and aesthetics, thereby making this volume an ideal reference work for students and scholars in a wide range of disciplines. -/- Contents: Envy, Janne Kylliäinen; Epic, Nassim Bravo Jordán; Epigram, David R. Law; Ethics, Azucena Palavicini Sánchez; Evil, Azucena Palavicini Sánchez and William McDonald; Exception/Universal, Geoffrey Dargan; Existence/Existential, Min-Ho Lee; Experience, Jakub Marek; Fairytale, Nathaniel Kramer; Faith, William McDonald; Finitude/Infinity, Erik M. Hanson; Forgiveness, John Lippitt; Freedom, Diego Giordano; Genius, Steven M. Emmanuel; God, Paul Martens and Daniel Marrs; Good, Azucena Palavicini Sánchez; Governance/Providence, Jack Mulder, Jr.; Grace, Derek R. Nelson; Gratitude, Corey Benjamin Tutewiler; Guilt, Erik M. Hanson; Happiness, Benjamin Miguel Olivares Bøgeskov; Hero, Sean Anthony Turchin; History, Sean Anthony Turchin; Holy Spirit, Leo Stan; Hope, William McDonald; Humility, Robert B. Puchniak; Humor, Alejandro González; Hypocrisy, Thomas Martin Fauth Hansen; Identity/Difference, Claudine Davidshofer; Imagination, Frances Maughan-Brown; Imitation, Leo Stan; Immanence/Transcendence, Leo Stan; Immediacy/Reflection, Zizhen Liu; Immortality, Lee C. Barrett; Incognito, Martijn Boven. (shrink)
Although Emmanuel Levinas is widely respected as one of the classic thinkers of our century, the debate about his place within Continental philosophy continues. In _Beyond: The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas,_ Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak shows Levinas's thought to be a persistent attempt to point beyond the borders of an economy where orderly interests and ways of reasoning make us feel at home--beyond the world of needs, beyond the self, beyond politics and administration, beyond logic and ontology, even beyond (...) freedom and autonomy. Peperzak's examination begins with a general overview of Levinas's life and thought, and shows how issues of ethics, politics, and religion are intertwined in Levinas's philosophy. Peperzak also discusses the development of Levinas's relations with Husserl and Heidegger, demonstrating thematically the evolution of both Levinas's anti-Heideggerian view of technology and his critical attitude toward nature. (shrink)
Edith Wyschogrod presents the first full-length study in English of the important contemporary French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. It is a revision of the author’s earlier study and includes discussions of his recent writings as well as current scholarship. Dr. Wyschogrod’s extensive discussion of Levinas's relation to Judaism, especially his use of literature from the Torah and other religious writings, will be of interest to religious scholars. The author compares Levinas’s thought with that of his contemporaries, most notably Jacques Derrida (...) and Husserl. (shrink)
Ethics as First Philosophy brings together original essays by an outstanding group of international scholars that discuss the work of Emmanuel Levinas. The book explores the significance of Levinas' work for philsophy, psychology and religion. Ethics as First Philosophy comprises an excellent collection of work on this major contemporary thinker. The book presents Levinas philosophy from a wide and well-balanced variety of perspectives. The contributions range from thematic discussions of Levinas central concepts to explorations of his affinities and differences (...) with other key writers such as Kant, Kierkegaard, Rosenzweig, Benjamin, Blanchot and Derrida. Some of the authors focus on the religious and philosophical issues presented by Levinas while others analyze the role of Levinas within phenomenology in or within recent French philosophy. (shrink)
Radical Orthodoxy, a growing movement among contemporary Christian theologians, argues that the prominent philosophical paradigms of modern and postmodern thought lack transcendence, are ultimately nihilistic, and are guided by an ontology of violence. Among the thinkers Radical Orthodoxy criticizes are Hegel, Nietzsche, and Hobbes, but surprisingly also the Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, whom they claim offers an ethics for nihilists. In this essay, I analyze the claims of two prominent thinkers in Radical Orthodoxy, John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock, and (...) argue that their account of Levinas is not only unfounded but point out the ways in which Levinas himself is also just as critical of the prevailing ontology of violence that figures in modern accounts of intersubjectivity and politics. Indeed, in his own way, Levinas also offers an ontology of peace, making him an important dialogue partner for Radical Orthodoxy's construction of an alternative ethics and politics. (shrink)
The phenomenological ethics of Emmanuel Levinas challenges fundamental assumptions regarding the ethical and ontological nature of interpersonal relationships. Although Levinas did not address the specific ethical realities of enduring intimacy, the existential anthropology of Martin Buber is used to explore the implications of Levinas' ethic for enduring intimate relationships. These philosophers call for a reexamination of some of our basic assumptions about being a couple, and challenges us to articulate a more meaningful description of what it means to be (...) a couple. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Using the work of Emmanuel Levinas, this article sheds light on Charlie Chaplin's The Circus, a piece that so far eluded the critics, despite its immense popularity with theater viewers. I show that it is not Chaplin's lack of inventiveness that makes the Tramp risk his life on the tightrope 'for nothing'. It is, on the contrary, Chaplin's intuitive sense that makes him believe, anticipating Levinas, that it is human and simple for a person to help another for no (...) benefit. It is this point that cinema-goers understood more easily than we, scholars, may think. Starting with The Circus I demonstrate that this film, which critics have underestimated due to its 'pointless' ending, becomes meaningful once interpreted as promoting radical for-the-other ethics. My argument about The Circus is supported by close reading as well as Chaplin's own remarks and his later talkie Limelight in which similar ideas are expressed more openly through language and through the ending scene, with the protagonist dying on stage, to the sounds of roaring laughter of the audience. (shrink)
Delia Popa, Emmanuel Levinas, Les aventures de l’economie subjective et son ouverture a l’alterite (Eemmanuel Levinas, The adventures of the subjective economy and its opening towards alterity) Lumen Publishing House, Iasi, 2007.
Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) is at the center of the renewed debate over the question of the ethical. In the context of the phenomenological tradition, Levinas defines ethics as an originary response to the face of the other. Between 1982 and 1992, Levinas gave numerous interviews, closing a distinguished sixty-year career. Of the twenty interviews collected in this volume, seventeen appear in English for the first time. In the interviews Levinas sets forth the central features of his ethical philosophy. He (...) underlies his dedication to the phenomenological search for the concrete and the nonformal signification of alterity. He also elaborates on issues that do not receive extensive treatment in his formal philosophical works, including the question of pre-philosophical experiences, the ethical signification of money, justice, and the State. The informality of the interviews prompt Levinas to address matters about which he is reticent in his published works. (shrink)
"This is a book of scintillating intelligence, a book whose range of references, whose extraordinary ethical sensibility and linguistic creativity, set a standard for philosophy that few if any contemporary thinkers other than Derrida and ...
In this article, I re-evaluate critiques of Levinas's Eurocentrism by exploring his openness to decolonial theory. First, I survey Levinas's conceptual confrontation with imperialism, showing that his early Eurocentric work is revised in his later writing. Second, I explore the contextual reasons that led him to take that path, such as his previously overlooked conversations with the liberationist South American intellectual Enrique Dussel. Finally, I present the case for a revisitation of the current theoretical frameworks of Jewish thought. I explain (...) how Levinas's encounter with Third World discourses helps to add a needed decolonial layer to contemporary Jewish intercultural conversations. (shrink)
The controversial case of Terri Schiavo came to a close on March 31, 2005, with her death following the removal of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube. This event followed years of controversy and social upheaval. Voices from across the entire political and cultural spectrums filled the airwaves and op-ed pages of major newspapers. Protests ensued outside of Ms. Schiavo’s care facility. Ms. Schiavo’s parents published videos of their daughter on the internet in an effort to prove that she was not (...) in a vegetative state and could potentially recover. There is a certain mystery to the entire controversy given the fact that, legally, it was largely a matter of settled law. Precedent cases and legal statutes clearly set out the proper procedures and decisions to be followed in this case. Nonetheless, powerful challenges and virulent opposition to these standards arose. Through an investigation of this case as well as a comparative study of the case of Dax Cowart (in particular, the documentary depictions of Dax Cowart’s case) and of a photograph by Joel-Peter Witkin, I plan to investigate the source of these social upheavals and hypothesize that they were largely the result of a phenomenological reaction to the human face. (shrink)
After a brief introduction and orientation (section I), this dialogue between Levinasian and Beckerian thought is approached along the lines of two major themes concerning consciousness which emerge in very different contexts and registers in their work (sections II and III), and one tantalizing question that is raised with great force by the dialogue (section IV). The two themes revolve around the subtle dialectical interplay that runs throughout the thought of both Levinas and Becker – the switching between internality and (...) externality, non-rational and rational; otherness and sameness; life and death – an interplay that is summed up in the dialectic between non-reflexive and reflexive consciousness. The Beckerian and Levinasian notions of the non-reflexive consciousness (section II) relate to their respective and in many ways convergent claims about a non-rational primal human state characterized by global vulnerability, awe and guilt, especially before the face of the other. Their analyses of reflexive consciousness (section III) relate to their interpretations of the problematic ideal of the free, self-constituting and self-mastering individual, and the impetus located therein towards the repression of what is Other to the self. Finally (section IV), the question is raised as to whether (and to what extent), following Levinas, sources of compelling ethical value might be legitimately understood as emerging out of Becker’s conception of primordial human vulnerability. (shrink)
Au cours de cet entretien, Emmanuel Renault nous offre un aperçu de la manière dont la thématique de la reconnaissance est traitée en France aujourd’hui, notamment à travers le renouveau des études sur Hegel et Marx. Il explique la façon dont la reconnaissance a pu s’ériger en paradigme (en dépit de ses usages multiples et variés en France comme ailleurs), au cours de la dernière décennie et le rôle joué par Axel Honneth dans ce procès. Finalement, il explicite sa (...) manière d’envisager la pratique de la philosophie politique et son projet d’une critique du capitalisme. Emmanuel Renault nous livre également un commentaire critique mais constructif sur la manière dont Paul Ricœur envisage la reconnaissance et suggère quelques pistes concernant les possibles développements futurs des usages de la reconnaissance. (shrink)
Die levinassche Erschließung von Gerechtigkeit als dem Äußersten zu Denkenden fordert eine Reflexion darüber heraus, wie Gerechtigkeit jeweils wieder in der konkreten Begegnung mit den Anderen verwirklicht wird. Wie ist die erhoffte Gerechtigkeit des Einen mit dem konkret werdenden Ethischen durch die Handlung des Anderen zum Zeitpunkt des Geschehens verstrickt? Diese »Verstrickung« wird als eine Komplikation verstanden, welche die beruhigte Einsamkeit des modernen Subjekts stört. Dieses störende Ereignis der Verantwortung lässt sich nicht als Ergebnis eines Kalküls zwischen Verbotenem und Erlaubtem (...) begreifen. Denn die wirkliche Gerechtigkeit geschieht nur in der konkreten geschichtlichen Handlung, die die theoretischen Widersprüche, die sich in einem zeitlos-idealistischen Denken zu geben scheinen, übersteigt. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas has exerted a profound influence on 20th-century continental philosophy. This anthology, including Levinas's key philosophical texts over a period of more than forty years, provides an ideal introduction to his thought and offers insights into his most innovative ideas. Five of the ten essays presented here appear in English for the first time. An introduction by Adriaan Peperzak outlines Levinas's philosophical development and the basic themes of his writings. Each essay is accompanied by a brief introduction and (...) notes. This collection is an ideal text for students of philosophy concerned with understanding and assessing the work of this major philosopher. (shrink)
: Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a "wet nurse" bearing Others whom he has "neither conceived nor given birth to" (Num. 11:12). A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
Emmanuel Levinas is variously used to provide a conceptualization of ethics from which to deduce an ethical politics, an account of the movement from ethics to politics or an exhortation to continually interrupt politics in the name of ethics. What all these approaches share is a reading of Levinas where ethics and politics are separated and ethics is prioritized. My argument in this article is that if the concept of the Third is given due weight in Levinas's work then (...) this separation and prioritization is untenable. The reading advanced foregrounds the Third and in doing so demonstrates that the unproblematized ‘ethics’ often drawn from Levinas is more complex than might initially appear. I argue that if the Third is taken seriously then Levinas's work leads to a requirement to think in terms of the ethico-political, so complicating any attempt to deduce politics from ethics which draws on this. (shrink)
Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas, two twentieth-century Jewish philosophers and two extremely provocative thinkers whose reputations have grown considerably over the last twenty years, are rarely studied together. This is due to the disparate interests of many of their intellectual heirs. Strauss has influenced political theorists and policy makers on the right while Levinas has been championed in the humanities by different cadres associated with postmodernist thought. In Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation, (...) Leora Batnitzky brings together these two seemingly incongruous contemporaries, demonstrating that they often had the same philosophical sources and their projects had many formal parallels. While such a comparison is valuable in itself for better understanding each figure, it also raises profound questions in the current debate on the definitions of 'religion', suggesting new ways that religion makes claims on both philosophy and politics. (shrink)
From the relative obscurity in which Levinas's work languished until very recently, Emmanuel Levinas must now be judged as one of the most influential figures in contemporary Continental philosophy. There is no better guide than John Lewelyn to lead one through the thickets of Levinas's prose. Bursting with questions, multiple references, cascading citations and multilingual puns and nuances, this book is the compelling record of intellectual obsession. Taking as its guiding thre the theme of genealogy, the book gives a (...) broadly chronological and impressively manageable presentation of the whole sweep of the Levinas's work. Balanced and finely grained, Llewelyn confronts questions of method, Heidegger, phenomenology, the theme of sensibility, religion, enjoyment, feminity, eros, justice and the political. The book reaches a stunning climax in a series of chapters that give a hestitant but tolerant discussion of the question of God in Levinas, the relation to Levinasian ethics to Nietzschean genealogy, and an extraordinary discussion of metaphor that leads into a wholly original analysis of Levinas's poetics and metaphorics. The book concludes with a sensitive reading of the autobiographical epigraphs to Levinas's Otherwise than Being... and a consideration of the Holocaust. (shrink)
El objetivo de este artículo es indagar acerca de la noción de “pasividad” que caracteriza al sujeto en el proyecto ético de Emmanuel Levinas. Un sujeto que es y está entregado al Otro, más allá de toda decisión voluntaria y de cualquier relación fáctica. La “pasividad” es la noción que permite comprender la contextura de la subjetividad levinasiana, su modo de constituirse, de “realizarse”, así como algo que denominaremos su “condición segunda”. La pasividad aparece en el pensamiento de Levinas (...) como la noción que le permite articular su ética, en tanto que ésta se funda en una responsabilidad que acontece en el extremo abandono de las certidumbres del “si mismo”, del “yo”. (shrink)
The end of Benjamin Fondane's iconic poem, the ‘Préface en prose’, is inscribed at the entrance of Yad Vashem's Hall of Names. The quote is a resonant call to recognize the humanity of all victims in the poet's human countenance. This reference, among many other elements in this poem, prompts a comparison to Emmanuel Levinas's philosophy. The poem's speaker specifically resembles Levinas's ‘Other’. Contrary to Levinas, it is maintained that written discourse, and not just the face-to-face encounter, involves an (...) ethical summons, implying a responsibility on the part of the reader: the responsibility to commemorate, in this case to commemorate the innocent humanity murdered in the Shoah. (shrink)
Critics of Levinas reject the notion that the abstract face of the other can ground ethics and generate specific responsibilities. To the contrary, I argue that the face does ground a practical and pragmatic ethics. Drawing on Levinas' phenomenological analyses of the enjoying subject, I show that the face communicates an imperative to the subject that obligates her or him to repair the concrete context of action in which the subject encounters the other. My elucidation takes very seriously the notion (...) that the face speaks and the face is a body. When coupled with a pragmatic account of communication, Levinas gives us a robust elucidation of the phenomenological and pragmatic dimensions of ethical responsibility. Key Words: embodiment ethics face Emmanuel Levinas phenomenology pragmatics responsibility. (shrink)
The Face of the Other and the Trace of God contain essays on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, and how his philosophy intersects with that of other philosophers, particularly Husserl, Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Derrida. This collection is broadly divided into two parts: relations with the other, and the questions of God.
Emmanuel Levinas compares ethical responsibility to a maternal body who bears the Other in the same without assimilation. In explicating this trope, he refers to a biblical passage in which Moses is like a "wet nurse" bearing Others whom he has "neither conceived nor given birth to". A close reading of this passage raises questions about ethics, maternity, and sexual difference, for both the concept of ethical substitution and the material practice of mothering.
Die Nähe des Anderen, auf die wir uns verlassen, wenn wir "Du" sagen, ist das von Levinas entdeckte, von der Philosophie stets übergangene Thema, das eigentlich und dringend zu Erfragende, zu Begreifende. Denn der Andere ist uns nicht Gegenstand , sondern fremd. Gerade darin liegt die Chance, oder das Rätsel, dessen Lösung möglich sein muß und Hoffnung geben kann; denn die Emanzipation des Subjekts zum Stifter der Einheit von Ich und Welt wurde erkauft um den Preis, daß das Subjekt "frei" (...) wurde, indem es sich als – passive – Einheit, als Resultat der in den intentionalen Akten waltenden transzendentalen Apperzeption begriff.Levinas weist darauf hin, daß dieser Weg der Emanzipation ein Irrweg ist, der das Ich zerstört und das Böse gebiert. (shrink)